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Rubber Rooms Eliminated!

April 15, 2010 pm30 3:30 pm

The UFT just announced that the Rubber Rooms will be eliminated as of September 1.

The agreement adds time lines to the contract. I didn’t take notes, so this is roughly from memory:

  • Closing the Rubber Rooms (all of them!) September
  • Teachers who are removed from the classroom will be reassigned within their school, or to a DoE office, or, in a few specific cases, to stay at home (1 such case is a charge of theft over $1000)
  • It sounded like a slight narrowing in the definition of who will get suspended without pay (need to reread details). No one new added (certain about that).
  • 60 day? Am I remembering wrong???  A 60-day enforceable (not like 18 months ago) timeline.
  • A 4-week expedited time line. (This is the only loss, and it is not a real loss. The DoE currently NEVER uses the expedited process. Now they will be able to go to the shorter process when they choose – the teacher will not be involved in the decision).

This is the first pure win I have seen as a UFT member. I look for the flaws, the gaps, the secret trap-doors. There ain’t none here.

Joel Klein’s DoE has taken “reassignment” and perverted and twisted it into a fear tactic. If you challenge an out of control principal, they can threaten to send you to the Rubber Room. Point out a contract violation? They can threaten to send you to the Rubber Room. Don’t want to give up your lunch for a meeting, participate in mandatory-voluntary per session…?  You get the idea.

And that’s over. No more.

A huge obstacle to rebuilding, or building from scratch, real chapters in the scores of mini-schools – the threat of being rubber roomed – that obstacle is history.

I often say that we should be judged not only on what we do for the average teacher, but on how we protect our weakest and most vulnerable. Our newest teachers (who are covered by this agreement, with or without tenure), our senior teachers, and our targeted teachers. It has been a point of embarrassment that this union has sometimes not looked out for our weakest. But today Michael Mulgrew has delivered for our most vulnerable, and really, for all of us.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. teacherhusband permalink
    April 16, 2010 pm30 3:30 pm 3:30 pm

    That’s amazing news!

    Any idea how that works for those who are appealing a firing but do not have tenure? While they won’t benefit from being paid during the investigations, will they benefit from a faster process as well? Having to wait a year or so to find out if you do (or most likely don’t considering the bias of the DoE) win an appeal is still horribly unfair.

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